Small lessons of Memorial Day can lead to big results


Memorial Day weekend 2013 is upon us and as has too often been the case in our recent history members of our armed forces are actively engaged in conflicts around the globe.

The thought of our service men and women being in harm’s way is never something to be taken lightly, though we always seem to become more acutely aware of their possible peril at this time every year.

Here in East Providence, like we do with our national armed forces, we often do not contemplate the daily tasks of those who have been charged to serve and protect us, the police officers and firefighters who routinely give of themselves for our benefit.

Their collective efforts are usually taken for granted unless we are in need of their assistance. It’s not something we do on purpose. It’s just the nature of our lives and of their chosen profession.

Last weekend, the East Providence Police Officers held their Ninth Annual Memorial Service, fittingly and poignantly, at the headquarters of the department, which is named after one of the fallen, Major Alistor C. McGregor.

Major McGregor died on the job, doing what he loved, and in the service of the greater good. That last fragment, really, sums up what being a police officer or a firefighter is all about — serving the community.

Many on the EPPD and EPFD are city natives, who grew up in East Providence and decided to pursue a career in public service. They opted to give of themselves, of their time and that of their families, to make their hometown a better place.

The same could be said for many other public servants and should be said for the community as a whole.

If we can take one small lesson away from Memorial Day, it should be the value of shared sacrifice, of trying to make the city, country and world in which live a better place.

If we do that, there’s likely no better way to honor those who have given their lives in service to us.

Memorial Day


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.